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stephen graham who wrote "cities under siege: the new military urbanism."
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he spoke last november on "democracy now!" describing the level of equipment out sensible to police departments in the united states. >> there's been a longstanding shift in north america and europe toward para militarize policing using helicopter-style systems, using infrared sensors, using really, really heavy militarized weaponry. that has been longstanding fuelled by the war on drugs and other sort of explicit campaigns. more recently, there has been a big push since the end of the cold war by the big defense and security and i.t. companies to sell things like video surveillance systems, things like geographic mapping systems, and even more recently, drone systems that are being used in the assassination raids in afghanistan and pakistan and elsewhere. >> that is stephen graham,
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author of, "cities under siege: the new military urbanism." your final comment? expressing weaponization in the way we live. policing is one of the most obvious and current examples in that. i would suggest the pervasive development of john technology around the world that we are saying are being used for all sorts of purposes is really the thin edge of the wedge when it comes to these issues. we're going to see greater and greater weaponization of drones that we see used in pakistan and afghanistan and other places. we're going to see the appearances of those sorts of drones in our own domestic policing and surveillance activities in the united states and in europe. there is a huge element to them besides the obvious a limit of human rights, freedom of the right to privacy, the right to free expression. the other important to mention
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that runs throughout the weapons business is the issue of blowback. the reality that so often these very same weapons that we produce for purposes that we think are good, come back to haunt us. and the united states domestic unit in the case of sandy hook and others, is only the most recent and tragic. a >> andrew feinstein, author of, "the shadow world: inside the global arms trade." thank you for being with us. he is a former anc member of parliament in south africa, speaking to us from london. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen
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shaikh. >> we turn now to a new campaign for indigenous rights and environmental justice that's spreading across canada. the idle ne more movement began as a series of protests against a controversial government budget bill, but has since expanded into a nationwide movement for political transformation. aboriginal and environmental activists are teaming up to resist what they say is the conservative canadian government's attempts to appropriate resource-rich lands, and to assimilate aboriginal nations they're calling on prime minister stephen harper to honor treaters with aborigines, opened dialogues with environmentalist, and reject tar sands pipelines that would infiltrate first nation territories. the website calls on people to "joined in a revolution which honors and fulfills indigenous sovereignty" and "protect the land and water." spreading their message on social media outlets, activists
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with idle no more have rallied in dozens of canadian cities, held countless teach-in's, even interrupted the legislature. one of the myth of its most high-profile supporters is chief theresa spence who is on her 16th day of a hunger strike in a tepee just outside ottawa's parliament. she warns she will starve herself until she gets a meeting with the prime minister to discuss respect for historical treaties. >> we live in a third world. it should not be happening in this country. they're getting rich by our land. everyone is using our land except us. all of these other [indiscernible] there is no benefits for us. it is all going to the government. >> so far, chief theresa spence has not received a response from prime minister harper.
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in canada, aborigines suffer far higher rates of unemployment, homelessness, incarceration, and suicide in the general population. we're joined by pamela palmater, the chair and indigenous governments at ryerson university, a spokeswoman for itamar movement and a member of the eel river bar for station. welcome to "democracy now!" start off why the name of the movement, "idle no more." >> it is really symbolic of trying to get people organized at the grassroots level. for many decades, we have the scenario where politicians in canada are making decisions over the lives of first nations communities across this country and first asian leaders who are trapped in the system under the legislation that we have the controls every single action and decision they make, which relieves the grassroots people out of the decision making process.
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for traditional indigenous governments in canada, the grass-roots people are the real decision makers. they have been kept in the dark of what is going on. what we tried to do for this movement is come up withteach- ins, information that helped power the grassroots to let them know what is the threat against them and take action against it, regardless of what is happening at the political level. >> pamela palmater, kenny said little about what's sparked these protests? what was the budget bill being considered? >> it is 14 people -- pieces of legislation. some of the earlier protests were on a specific bill that made an immense 2 tons of pieces of legislations. the two critical pieces for us at that time were the changes to the unilateral changes to the indian act which would allow the easy surrender of our reserve
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land, the changes to the waters act which does not jt in back first nations people, but canadians and americans between canada and the u.s., we share lots of waterways and water basins and rivers and lakes. so these changes will be catastrophic to those waterways and affect people on both sides of the border. we were trying not to just in power for stations committees about the violations to our treaty rights, but also the devastating impact on canadians and americans about clean drinking water. >> i want to turn to the parliamentary secretary to the minister of aboriginal affairs in canada, greg rickford. he told global toronto that the government is willing to engage in more dialog between first nations of the canadian government. >> i anders and the dynamic of that demand. we want to be sure never since
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we're working -- singing from the same songbook. >> pamela palmater, your response? >> it is just more of the status quo. from very early times when negotiated nation and nation based tree relationships, and canadian officials ever since have decided to make laws and policies and direct our committed these without any consent on our part. this is just more of these same. he does not address any of the core issues like a final crisis in many of our communities. the purposeful _ -- underfunding of food, education, water, housing. the very thing that contributes to our premature deaths. he is talking about more dialogue. look where it has brought us? in the last 20 years, every
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single socio-economic indicator for first nations has gone down hill. when you look at the mandate of indian affairs, they only have one job. of those 5000 bureaucrats to use up billions of our dollars have to improve the social well-being of first nations in this country, and they have built over and over again. dialogue is not going to do it. it is only one of the action. >> can you talk a little bit about how the idle no more protests tie into the national movement against tar sands, the tar sands pipeline? >> when you think about it, this movement has been in the works for several years. i know myself and many others have been working to and former first nations about what is happening on their territory is not just in terms of the funding cuts, but also politically. and then what is happening in terms of the aggressive resourced of element that is
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is happening without our consent. all of that is tied in. even before the idol no more movement officially came out on social media, you had lots of protests. we have been working on resisting what is happening in canada, but what this movement has done is tied it together. the idle no more movement ties in with pipelines and other informal movements called indigenous rights revolutions and individual first nations or standing up an exercise in their sovereignty to protect the land and resources for everybody. it is something canadians don't often realize is that first nations are the last best hope they have of protecting land for food and clean water for the future, not just for our people,
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but for canadians as well. we have constitutional protected aboriginal treaty rights that they don't have. so this country falls or survives on whether or not they recognize and implement those aboriginal treaty rights. they need to stand with us to protect what will be essential. we're talking about having food and water for future generations. >> pamela palmater, i want to ask about chief theresa spence who has been on a hunger strike, saying she is willing to die for people. she wants prime minister harper to discuss respect for her historical treaties. her hunger strike has led some to voice caution and even disapproval, like patrick brazeau, native senator appointed by harper stating he thought she was not setting a good example for aboriginal used. take heart filled once this is not the way to do with the government headed by harper -- kate heartfield said this is not
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the way to deal with the government headed by harper. >> you have to look at who is making those comments senator patrick brazeau, an indigenous person that came to senate -- most for stations consider him a traitor because he actively works against first nations interest for his own personal gain according to first nations. we tend to not pay attention to the things he says. but in terms of other politicians, of course they're going to say these things because the current status quo benefits the majority population even if they don't have a direct hand in it. first nations people have been subsidizing the wealth and prosperity and programs and services of canadians from our land and resources. that is the reality here, that most people don't understand.
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this hunger strike is very symbolic. if you look at every day that chief theresa spence does not eat, she is slowly dying. she is doing that for people. why? because our people are slowly dying. 22% of our youth die from suicide. people die from lack of food, water, lack of housing. this is what is happening to our people. chief theresa spence's hundred strike is to bring awareness to what is happening around the world. international countries -- that look at canada and see the olympics and some native people dancing at the opening ceremonies and think everything is wonderful here in canada when in actual fact, the nine nations index put -- the u.n. index puts canada down to 78 if he isolate for stations. that is how bad things are here in canada.
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>> pamela palmater, we have to leave it there. thank you for being with us, spokeswoman for idle no more. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]

Democracy Now
LINKTV December 26, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

News/Business. Independent global news hour featuring news headlines, in depth interviews and investigative reports. (CC) (Stereo)


TOPIC FREQUENCY Canada 10, Pamela Palmater 5, Theresa Spence 5, Harper 5, Europe 2, Stephen Graham 2, Pakistan 2, Amy Goodman 2, Afghanistan 2, Patrick Brazeau 2, Weaponization 1, Stephen Harper 1, Andrew Feinstein 1, Greg Rickford 1, Anders 1, Nermeen Shaikh 1, Ins 1, United States 1, United States Domestic Unit 1, Underfunding 1
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